Feature Request Process and Roadmap Process

  • Dear Community,

    of course, it has not gone unnoticed that there has been dissatisfaction and a wish for more transparency regarding our roadmap and basic feature request process for some time now. In the following we would like to give you an insight into what happens with your feature requests and how the basic roadmapping process works at Enscape.

    You hopefully all know our Enscape Portal. There you will find under the corresponding tab the features that are currently in development, features that have already been released in the current or older Enscape version and feature ideas for which we actively want your feedback. The features in the "Feedback Wanted" area are not automatically features that we will be working on next, but features where we would like your feedback regarding importance and open questions. And of course you have the possibility to submit additional feature requests using the corresponding button.

    From your point of view, the feedback or feature request disappears and if they are not included in the next roadmap, the question of what actually happens to your request rightly arises. All your messages, regardless of whether they are direct feedback on a displayed feature or a feature request, are recorded as so-called ‘Insights’. Once a week, we as Product Management team go through all new Insights. We read and discuss them and if they are already existing feature requests, we assign the Insight to the corresponding feature. "Assign" means that both your comment and importance rating are added to the feature. If a feature request is new, we of course create a corresponding feature. In this way, we can record the number of requests, the assessment of importance and your feedback for each feature.

    We are aware that some would like feature requests to automatically appear on the portal. But we have several hundred valid feature requests in our backlog. On the one hand, we are not able to curate all these incoming requests to be described and represented properly in the portal. On the other hand visitors of the portal would just be overwhelmed with all these requests and get lost in the pure amount so that we wouldn’t be able to collect focused feedback. However, our goal is to keep exchanging and updating the features of the "Feedback Wanted" section.

    With all these feature requests in our backlog, how do we decide which ones to implement next? Of course, your feedback is an important factor. We look at which features have the highest importance for you and are requested most often. But we are not only taking the feedback from the portal into account, we also talk to our partners, resellers and internal specialists to get a full picture of the user's wishes. However, user feedback is not the only factor. Like any company, we have a company vision, different goals for the next few years and a strategy to achieve them. Therefore, for each feature, the strategic fit is also taken into account during the selection process. Furthermore, it is also a question of how much effort the implementation of a feature entails. We have different development teams, each with a different focus. Accordingly, when selecting the features, we have to make sure that all teams have topics they can work on. Conversely, this means that the available capacity of the teams limits how many features we can implement in a certain area. The effort of a feature is of course weighed against its benefit. In addition to estimating the basic benefit for the workflow, this also involves questions such as whether the feature is relevant for all or only some of our user groups. Thereby, both, our user types (e.g. Architect, Landscape Designer, Visual Artist ...) as well as for which supported CADs the feature is relevant, are taken into consideration. In addition, depending on the release, there may be other internal factors that also influence the roadmap, such as, among others, necessary technical improvement, collaborations with technology partners and short-term business-relevant issues.

    As you can imagine, one focus of our roadmap is currently to leverage synergies between Chaos and Enscape to give you a unique visualization workflow in the future. Another focus is to give our MAC version the same functionality as our Windows version as soon as possible and that for all CADs we support, which are available on MAC.

    This, of course, doesn't mean that we won’t include your wishes and requests in the roadmap. However, it does unfortunately mean that for topics that are complex and require a lot of effort on our side there is no capacity, at least in the next year. One such topic is, for example, the video editor, which we want to fundamentally rework technically in order to lay a robust foundation for the future and to be able to properly implement your feature request.

    We realize that this may be disappointing news for many of you. But our goal going forward,not only with Enscape but the product landscape of the entire Chaos Group, is to provide you with a visualization workflow, functionality and user experience that is unique in the industry. Some of you may have seen that the new V-Ray 6 provides the first functionality to seamlessly transition from Enscape into V-Ray, enabling a first step towards an end-to-end visualization workflow from the first wall to the final ultra-realistic output. Of course, this is just the beginning. We have several ideas and are already evaluating them. Unfortunately, this will not happen overnight and will take some time. Stay tuned for what will follow and in the meantime, keep sending us your feedback and feature requests as we greatly appreciate and read every message and take them into account when planning the product roadmap.

    The Enscape Product Management Team